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In the fast-paced world of fashion, where trends come and go with the seasons, one thing remains constant: the value of loyal customers.
Fashion brand owners, marketing professionals, and ecommerce managers understand that retaining customers is just as important as attracting new ones. This is where fashion loyalty programs come into play.
In this blog, we’ll delve into the world of fashion loyalty programs, explore why they matter, showcase 8 excellent examples, and provide practical tips on how to build your own. Whether you’re a luxury fashion house or an emerging online boutique, this guide is tailored to help you understand and enhance customer loyalty.
In this guide:
Before we dive into the specifics, let’s address the “why” behind fashion loyalty programs. These programs are not just a trend; they’re a strategic necessity in the fashion industry. Here’s why:
In the highly competitive world of fashion, keeping customers coming back for more is a constant challenge. Loyalty programs provide a structured way to nurture and retain your customer base.
Fashion retailers are discounting 40% more than brands in other ecommerce industries.
Loyalty programs significantly reduce a brand’s reliance on discounting by providing alternative and more sustainable ways to incentivize and retain customers.
Loyalty program members tend to spend more than non-members, all year round. The promise of rewards encourages them to make repeat purchases, boosting your sales revenue even in the quiet periods, evening out your sales cycles.
Loyalty programs gather data on customer preferences and behaviors, providing insights you can use to tailor your marketing strategies and product offerings.
When done right, a loyalty program sets your brand apart from the competition. It can be a key differentiator that helps you stand out in a crowded marketplace.
Now that we understand the importance of fashion loyalty programs, let’s explore some iconic examples that have set the bar high.
Nordstrom’s Nordy Club is a well-known and successful loyalty program for several reasons:
Tiered Membership: The Nordy Club has a tiered system, including Member, Influencer, and Ambassador levels. This tiered structure offers escalating rewards and benefits as customers progress through the tiers, encouraging members to engage more with the brand to unlock higher-tier benefits.
Exclusive Access: Members of the Nordy Club gain access to exclusive perks, such as early access to sales, private shopping events, and priority in-store services. These exclusives make members feel valued and special.
Personalization: The program offers personalized product recommendations based on members’ preferences and purchase history. This personal touch enhances the shopping experience and encourages members to return for more tailored selections.
Lululemon is a yoga-inspired fashion brand, best known for luxury leggings and stylish athletic wear. Lululemon’s loyalty program caters to fitness enthusiasts, allowing its members to feel part of a real community. Here are some of the reasons the membership program is a success:
Exclusive Access: The program provides members with exclusive access to products and events, like the Lululemon Studio Classes. This exclusivity fosters a sense of belonging and makes members feel valued by the brand.
Community and Networking: Lululemon emphasizes community and networking among its members. This includes special events, workout sessions, and other activities that allow members to connect with like-minded individuals who share a passion for fitness and lifestyle.
Brand Loyalty: The membership program encourages brand loyalty by offering ongoing benefits and rewards, such as receipt-free returns and free hemming. Members are more likely to continue shopping at Lululemon to take advantage of these benefits, reducing the likelihood of them switching to other activewear brands.
H&M’s loyalty program provides a generous mix of discounts, early access, and sustainable fashion initiatives – which is why it does so well. Here are some of the reasons this program made the list:
Powerful Mobile App Integration: The H&M loyalty program is accessible via the H&M app or at hm.com. Integrating the membership program into the app makes it more convenient for members to access their benefits and regularly engage with the brand at the touch of a button.
Free Delivery: H&M offers free delivery as a perk for members who spend over the $20 threshold. This is a great way to give value to loyal customers, while also increasing AOV by encouraging them to spend at least $20.
Experiential Rewards: As well as offering money-off vouchers and free delivery, H&M reward their members with exciting experiential perks, such as access to exclusive music events. These experiences make members feel special and valued while creating a highly emotional connection to the brand.
What sets these programs apart from the rest is their ability to offer value to customers beyond discounts. They create a sense of belonging and provide unique experiences that forge emotional connections.
Social proof is incredibly impactful. 84% of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. They act as validation beyond the standard sales imagery and allow customers to expel any doubts they may have before buying your products — such as sizing and quality.
Through their “Pulse Perks” loyalty program, Pulse Boutique rewards their devoted fan base 50 points for writing a product review. This encourages their already loyal customers to share their opinions and experiences which, in turn, helps new customers with their decision making.
But that’s not all. Pulse Boutique also rewards customers with 100 points if they add a photo to their review. A clever approach considering that 73% of customers say that the content within a review is more important to them than the overall star rating.
By featuring social proof site-wide, Pulse Boutique saw an 18% uplift in sales and a 39% increase in returning customers.
Good fashion branding begins with coherent communication. And, with so many fashion brands out there, you need to make sure your customers clearly understand who you are and how they can relate to you.
After all, customers who are emotionally aligned with a brand are more engaged, and will more likely share their positive experiences. Through a loyalty program, you can tell your customers what you’re all about.
Lucy and Yak uses LoyaltyLion’s integrated loyalty program functionality to inject their personality throughout their loyalty page. They show the real people behind the actions customers can take on the page.
The sustainable dungarees company also shows that they’re a light-hearted, fun-loving brand. Their loyalty tiers are named, “Comfort Lover”, “Yak Enthusiast” and “Dungaree Devotee” — a fun nod to their products.
By incorporating their personality throughout their loyalty page, more customers will feel like they understand the brand on a deeper, more emotional level.
This is incredibly important considering that recent research concludes that emotion is the biggest driver of loyalty. And, that 70% emotionally engaged customers spend up to two times more with brands they’re loyal to.
Menswear brand Taylor Stitch uses its loyalty program as a way to encourage brand advocacy with two key strategies.
The first is to make referral the primary focus of their program. On their site, they have an eye-catching button that highlights how customers can receive a $20 voucher for every new customer they send Taylor Stitch’s way.
Once clicked, customers are taken to a page that explains the ins and outs of their community – otherwise known as “The Common Club”. Here they expand on the refer-a-friend offer and make it easy for customers to sign in and complete the action.
Referrals are vital for ecommerce success. Research shows that customers acquired through referrals spend 200% more than the average customer and are between 16 and 24% more loyal as they already trust that they’ll get a good experience.
The second way Taylor Stitch uses its loyalty program to encourage brand advocacy is in their welcome emails. Once a customer signs up to their loyalty program they clearly communicate their brand mission – “Responsibility built for the long haul” – and their focus on sustainability and fair working conditions.
By showcasing what they stand for at the outset, more loyal customers are likely to rally behind them and tell others about it.
While some retailers may think that discounts and rewards are a good way to get new customers through the door, they’re also a way to show gratitude to your existing customers.
And what better way to say “thank you” than giving your most valuable customers a free product in exchange for their loyalty? The thought of getting something for nothing automatically attracts customers. And, according to one study, the word “free” gives us an “emotional charge” that we perceive as something being more valuable than it actually is.
Luxury watch brand Abbott Lyon offers its loyal customers more than just money off for their continued loyalty. They offer free, tangible gifts such as silver bangles and bracelets. They also include the product’s original price to show their customers that they’re getting a valuable gift in exchange for prolonged engagement and spending.
By giving their most loyal customers tangible benefits beyond just money off, Abbott Lyon is showing their customers that they care about them enough to give them a gift for free.
When Never Fully Dressed (NFD) met with LoyaltyLion, they already had an aspirational brand community, and it was growing fast. NFD’s team wanted to enhance their brand identity and values by growing their brand community.
To highlight their brand values and increase the repeat purchase rate, Never Fully Dressed designed an on-brand tiered loyalty program structure. Members can progress across three levels respectively; Something Sassy, Strikingly Sassy, and Supremely Sassy. To encourage their regular customers to purchase more often and spend more, NFD provides exclusive gifts as they move up to the next tier.
Thanks to their unique combination of financial and experience-based rewards, NFD generates 32% of its total revenue from its loyal customers today. They have also increased their member spend by 59% compared to non-redeeming members and increased their repeat purchase rates by 64%.
To create a loyalty program that not only attracts but retains customers, you need to carefully consider several key elements. Including these essential components can turn your fashion loyalty program into a customer magnet.
Create different reward tiers to motivate customers to reach higher spending levels. The key thing here is for brands to offer unique perks in their tiers to differentiate the loyalty program – for example, your top tier members could be invited to a panel where they get to influence which products are released next.
A great way to win back customers who haven’t shopped with you for a while is ensuring that your points have an expiration date. This gives you the perfect opportunity to reach back out to your customers and let them know that they should shop with you before x amount of time or they’ll lose their benefits forever.
Double Points Events
Running promotional events – such as double or triple points weekends – is a great way to get your customers spending with you out of the peak seasons. This helps you even out your sales cycles so that you don’t see such steep peaks and troughs.
When it comes to buying clothes online, shoppers have come to expect fast and free shipping. Working free shipping into your loyalty program is an effective way to get one-off shoppers to sign up to your program, meaning you can collect more data and deliver even better communications to them in future.
Creating a fashion loyalty program from scratch requires careful planning and execution. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started:
Before diving into the details, it’s crucial to define the objectives of your loyalty program. What do you want to achieve? Common objectives include:
– Customer Retention: Increase customer loyalty and reduce churn rates.
– Sales Growth: Boost sales by incentivizing repeat purchases.
– Brand Advocacy: Encourage customers to become brand ambassadors and refer others.
– Data Collection: Gather valuable customer data for better marketing and personalization.
Clearly defining your objectives will guide every decision you make throughout the program’s development.
Decide on the rewards you’ll offer to your customers. Rewards are the heart of any loyalty program and can include things like:
– Discounts: Offering percentage or fixed discounts on future purchases.
– Free Products: Allowing customers to redeem points for specific items.
– Exclusive Access: Providing early access to sales, limited-edition products, or VIP events.
– Surprise Gifts: Sending unexpected gifts to loyal customers to create delightful moments.
Ensure that your rewards align with your brand and resonate with your target audience.
Selecting the right technology to manage your loyalty program is crucial. Consider the following factors when choosing a loyalty platform:
– Integrations: Ensure the platform integrates seamlessly with your store and existing tech stack.
– User-Friendly: The platform should be easy for both customers and your team to use.
– Data Analytics: Access to customer data and analytics is essential for tracking program performance and making informed decisions.
– Scalability: Choose a platform that can grow with your business as your loyalty program expands.
Establish clear program rules and guidelines to avoid confusion. Define how customers earn points, how they can redeem rewards, and any terms and conditions associated with the program. Communicate these rules clearly on your website and promotional materials.
Once your loyalty program is set up, it’s time to launch and promote it. Use various channels, including your website, email marketing, social media, and in-store signage to inform customers about your program. Consider offering a sign-up bonus to incentivize initial participation.
After the program is live, continuously monitor its performance. Use data and feedback from customers to identify areas for improvement. Regularly assess whether the program is meeting its objectives and adjust as needed.
Fashion loyalty programs have proven time and again to be a catalyst for building lasting relationships with customers. By learning from iconic programs and following the steps outlined here, you can create a loyalty program that sets your brand on a path to long-term success.
So, what are you waiting for? Book a demo here.